Candler Hospital Nursing School History

From 1904 until 1968, the Savannah Hospital Training School for Nurses and later named the Warren A. Candler Hospital School of Nursing Faculty graduated 652 students. These graduates served in nursing careers in nearly every state of the U.S., in different branches of the Armed Services, here and aboard, as well as serving as directors and educators.


Candler Nursing History
  • The first students – five – came to the Savannah Hospital in 1901 to be trained as nurses.
  • The school of nursing was organized a year later.
  • The first person to complete the Savannah Hospital Training School for Nurses was Miss Mary Elizabeth Simpson, later Mrs. James Milton Weatherly.
  • The Savannah Hospital Training School for Nurses was accredited for the first time by the Board of Examiners of Nurses for Georgia in 1917.
  • The school’s name was changed to the Warren A. Candler Hospital School of Nursing in 1931, one year after the Methodist purchased the interest of the city in the Savannah Hospital.
  • In 1937, the school made arrangements with Armstrong College of Savannah for part of the curriculum, the basic sciences such as chemistry and biology, to be taught by Armstrong faculty in a college setting.
  • In 1943, the Warren A. Candler Hospital and School of Nursing joined with the Cadet Nurse Corps program in preparing nurses to serve in the Armed Services. The program ran from 1943 until 1948.
  • By 1960, Armstrong College faculty taught nursing school students English, psychology, sociology, biology or anatomy, chemistry, microbiology, nutrition and physical education. Meanwhile, the basic nursing fundamentals – medical, surgical and obstetrical nursing – were still taught by Candler Nursing School faculty.
  • The first homecoming festivities (also called Alumnae Day) were held in April 1946.
  • The second homecoming was celebrated in 1952 when the School of Nursing was 50 years old from its formal organization.
  • In 1963, the Board of Trustees approved the acceptance of men into the nursing school program
  • In 1966, students were permitted to get married during their last six months of school.
  • In May of 1966, the notice was given of the closing of the Candler School of Nursing following the 1968 graduation.
  • The last class to graduate was on Aug. 9, 1968. There were 10 students in the graduating class that year.
  • A total number of 652 students graduated from the school program between 1904 and 1968.

Cost of Tuition:

  • Up until the 1930s, there was no tuition. Students were actually paid a nominal sum each month they were in school. The students paid for their education by working for the hospital.
  • In the 1930s, tuition was $75 for the three-year program and students still gave most of their time to working in the hospital.
  • In 1950, student tuition rose to $322.50. The students worked less because more curriculum study was required.
  • In 1964, student tuition was $920 plus other expenses.
  • During the final years, curriculum requirements had increased so tuition rose to $1,079 plus living expenses for three years.  

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